photos by Richard Schumacher
Gary Gross’ 18′ x 12′ Franklin Pacific Railroad uses track on three levels connected by two multi-turn helixes to model this St. Louis to Kansas City (or Springfield) Missouri shortline. His completely finished 12′ x 26′ railroad room features a crew lounge area and a restroom. A typical operating session requires a Dispatcher, Yardmaster, and 4 Train Operators (4 switching jobs), using Digitrax DCC radio throttles, Dispatcher-based block control, and waybill/car card car forwarding.
The Franklin Pacific Railroad (FP) was organized in 1876 in the town of Franklin, Missouri. The original owners intended to extend the railroad from St. Louis, Missouri through Franklin and the Missouri Ozarks to the Pacific Ocean. The railroad was never able to achieve its objective because of financial, political and competitive circumstances that occurred over the years.
Today, June 1955, the railroad is a shortline operation, connecting the town of Franklin with the towns of Taylorville, Gravelton, and Knobel and interchanging with the Missouri Pacific (MP), Kansas City Southern (KCS), and the St. Louis San Francisco (SLSF) railroads in a common yard at Franklin. The MP and SLSF have passenger and freight trains coming east from St. Louis and west from Kansas City and Springfield respectively, and the KCS has two freight trains that travel between Springfield and Kansas City, all stopping daily at Franklin. Passenger and freight traffic travels daily on the Franklin Pacific from Franklin to the towns of Knobel, Gravelton, and Taylorville and to industries in East Franklin, dropping off passengers and switching freight. Sixteen regularly scheduled trains flow in and out of Franklin daily.
These photos were taken during the May 2011 Rail Op session.